Dorp Hotel

Bo-Kaap, Cape Town, South Africa
Book from GBP Book from £170 per night

Dorp Hotel

Bo-Kaap, Cape Town, South Africa

A quirky, characterful yet tastefully decadent retreat with soaring city views, located in Cape Town’s colourful Bo Kaap district

A quirky, characterful yet tastefully decadent retreat with soaring city views, located in Cape Town’s colourful Bo Kaap district

Visitors to Dorp, nestling atop Signal Hill in Cape Town, agree on one thing – it is unlike anything they’ve seen. It has the service and grandeur of an upmarket city hotel, but the charm and vibe of a boutique operation. It is chic (designed by the late fashion designer Gail Behr) and offbeat and whimsical, brimming with humour. It isn’t even really a hotel, more a collection of Georgian-inspired buildings of various sizes and styles. Perhaps the word Dorp – Afrikaans for ‘village’ – is the best description.

At its heart is the Salon, where guests eat and mingle and which brings to mind a country club with its dusty-pink sofas, Persian rugs, bookshelves and fireplace. The rest is a glorious hodge-podge of influences and details that call to mind a movie set – around every corner there’s an Insta-ready backdrop of glittering pools, mirrored staircases, fairytale gardens, a sweeping roof terrace. The 27 rooms and suites continue the eclectic vibe: you could encounter florals, velvets, chaise longues, rag rugs, clawfoot tubs and artistic wallpaper. And then there are the spectacular natural backdrops with views up to Table Mountain, down to the City Bowl, and across to Table Bay and the craggy Twelve Apostles.

Highs

  • The laidback vibe. The hotel even calls itself ‘an unofficial club for oddballs, romantics, seekers of beauty’
  • It has wide appeal. The main Dorp hotel is great for couples and romantic weekends, while the new block of suites, called OnderDorp, are smaller and self-catering so ideal for families with teens and groups
  • Great location – close enough to the city to get there in minutes but up and away from the bustle with glorious long views
  • Bo Kaap itself: formerly the Malay Quarter, on the slopes of Signal Hill and renowned for its brightly coloured dwellings, it has the largest concentration of historic architecture in South Africa

Lows

  • It’s situated in the Muslim community of Bo Kaap, and so doesn’t sell alcohol – although guests are more than welcome to bring their own
  • No kids under 14
  • Very limited parking
  • There are four communal pools but they're more for dipping than swimming
  • Lots of steps (and quite steep) so not suitable for those with mobility issues

Best time to go

December to March are the hottest months and they do get hot – an average of 30ºC is pretty common. It’s also when most of the music, arts and cultural festivals take place and the schools are on holiday, so you can also expect crowds and higher prices. If you’re not so bothered about sunbathing, March-May and September-November are considerably cheaper, less crowded and ideal for walking and wine touring.

Our top tips

Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for 27 years, is well worth the short boat trip. Many of the guides here are former inmates who share their own stories as well as the history of the struggle against apartheid. Both insightful and moving.

Great for...

City Style
Foodie
Great Outdoors
Romantic
  • Boutique Hotel
  • 27 rooms
  • Restaurant (open daily)
  • Over 14s welcome
  • Open all year
  • Outdoor Pool
  • Spa Treatments
  • Beach Nearby
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Car not necessary
  • Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • WiFi
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Laundry Service
Room:

Rooms

Dorp is actually divided into two although all guests have the run of the compound, which is arranged around a rambling semi-wild garden. The Main Hotel is the more luxurious option with rooms offering spectacular views over the mountains and bay. OnderDorp is a new block of rooms set below, which are smaller and self-catering and aimed at the younger demographics, groups and families. The two are connected by a very steep staircase.

The best rooms are the two Rooftop Suites, vast and airy, with views over the city, a separate dine-in kitchen or lounge, plus two bathrooms and a separate shower room and tub. The three Family Suites are either one or two rooms (queen and twin beds) with kitchens and ensuites and views of Table Mountain or the gardens.

The Gallery Suites have their own elegant furnished balconies and city/mountain views. The Deluxe Suites come with kitchens. Dorp Suites have panoramic views, while the Dorp Rooms open onto the garden and have their own seating areas.

Features include:

  • Bathrobes
  • Cots available
  • Fan
  • Hairdryer
  • Minibar
  • Safe box
  • Satellite TV
  • Toiletries
  • WiFi

Eating

The Salon is the centre of the hotel where guests can mingle and dine. The menu is simple, homely and unfussy – fillet steak, vegetable curry, fish and chips, Caesar salad, and their signature rotisserie chicken. Despite the lack of pretension, it does have very good reviews.

If you want to eat out, there’s also an osteria, café and coffee shop nearby, and while the surrounding neighbourhood doesn’t have a lot in the way of gastronomic delights, Cape Town itself has somewhere to suit every palate, and most places are a short walk or taxi ride away. You can find everything from Thai to Italian, seafood to dim sum, and burgers as well as traditional and local African fare – crocodile, goat’s head stew or spicy mopane worm, anyone?

Features include:

  • Breakfast
  • Coffee maker
  • Restaurant
  • Vegetarian options
Eating:
Activity:

Activities

  • You can’t go to Cape Town without going up Table Mountain. You can hike or take the cable car to the top and there are numerous walking trails that give unparalleled views across the bay and city
  • Arty types and shoppers should head to the Old Biscuit Mill, a trendy hub that is home to some excellent street food stalls, traditional arts and crafts sellers and chic little boutiques. Kalk Bay is also worth a visit for the same reason
  • Water lovers and sun worshippers are spoiled for choice. There are the four Clifton Beaches (family, student, gay and surfer – apparently), Camps Bay, Boulders Beach (not for swimming but for the penguins) and Muizenberg, most popular with families and surfers
  • Explore historic cobblestoned Bo Kaap, once the centre of Cape Malay culture and formerly a racially segregated area, for its colourful homes and high concentration of National Heritage sites; the museum is worth a look too
  • You’re in wine country, with some of the best wines in the world, so a tour is almost obligatory. A tasting of Stellenbosch (both the town and the plonk) is highly recommended

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Birdwatching
  • Historical sites
  • Museums / galleries
  • Shopping / markets
  • Surfing
  • Swimming
  • Wine tasting

Kids

Kids 14 and above are welcome, there are several family suites. Some of the rooms are connected so enquire ahead about the best accommodation for your family. Note that the swimming pools are small plunge pools only.

Best for:

Teens (over 12)

Family friendly accommodation:

Dorp Family Suites are the best for families with teens, with a second bedroom which can be set up as a twin.

Cots Available

Kids Activities nearby:

  • Beaches
  • The V&A Waterfront
  • Table Mountain and Lions Head

Distances:

  • Airport: 30 minutes
  • Shops: 6 minutes
Kid Friendly:

Location

Dorp Hotel is situated on Signal Hill in the Cape Town district of Bo Kaap, close to the city centre and harbour.

By Air:
The nearest airport is Cape Town International, which is served by several UK airlines, and only 22km away.

From the Airport:
A taxi ride takes about 25 minutes. You can also hire a car from the airport but parking at the hotel is limited.

Detailed directions will be sent when you book through i-escape.

Airports:

  • Cape Town International 22.0 km CPT

Other:

  • Beach 6.0 km
  • Shops 1.6 km
  • Restaurant 0.2 km

Rates for Dorp Hotel

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